Think Operational Security

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Terri Trujillo
  • 52nd Fighter Wing OPSEC Program Manager
There are multiple approaches to security as a whole. Common access cards, security guards, network intrusion detection systems, encryption technologies, communication security equipment-- all are valuable additions to an organizational security program.

At the core, however, the strength of any security program, regardless of the specific discipline, lies within the dedication, abilities and resourcefulness of the personnel involved.

And operational security is certainly no different. While a large budget and numerous resources will make a program more effective and valuable, it's the fundamentals of OPSEC- not the technologies or materials- that form the backbone of an OPSEC program.

Here at Spangdahlem, we share our mission with our host nation allies, but we don't want to share mission capabilities with the enemy. Active duty, civilians, contractors, friends and family are all charged with protecting that information. If you are the military member, make sure you discuss good OPSEC practices with your spouse, partner, children, extended family and friends. Remember they have access to critical information too!

OPSEC is not a strict list of rules and procedures. At the heart is common sense! We all believe that we are a small piece of the puzzle and this is true. However, when you put those pieces together, they form a picture the adversary can and will exploit.

Here are a few common sense practices you can employ at home and work:
  • "Common sense" with unsecured communications. If you think a subject shouldn't be discussed, it probably shouldn't.
  • Encrypt all information on the Critical Information List (CIL) prior to sending
  • Use secure communication means with the CIL to help protect classified information.
  • Discuss work at work, NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA or in the general public
  • Ensure family members understand the importance of protecting work related information, schedules, duty hours, deployments etc.
There's a temptation, in any security discipline, to rely on technologies or other resources to drive one's program. But, again, at the core, it's the people that make a difference.

It's the people who advocate for the discipline, and how readily their target audience adopts it. So, no matter how many posters are printed or reminders are distributed, it's YOU that are truly important to the process.

Remember- know what you need to protect, and protect it.

If you don't know, e-mail your unit coordinator or contact the Wing OPSEC Program Manager, MSgt Terri Trujillo at 452-2484. Help keep our information secure, THINK OPSEC!

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